QUARTETTO ITALIANO


Philips - 1 LP - 9500 157 - (p) 1976
Philips Eloquence - 1 CD - 468 115-2 - (c) 1990
Pentatone - 1 CD - PTC 5186 189 - (c) 2010

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)






String Quartet in C major, Op. 76 No. 3 (Hob. III:77) "Emperor"
26' 01"
- Allegro
6' 58"

- Poco adagio, cantabile
8' 16"

- Menuetto (Allegro) 5' 08"

- Finale (Presto) 5' 39"





String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 76 No. 4 (Hob. III:78) "Sunrise"
23' 59"
- Allegro con spirito
8' 00"

- Adagio 6' 55"

- Menuetto (Allegro)
4' 45"

- Finale (allegro ma non troppo)
4' 19"





 
QUARTETTO ITALIANO
- Paolo Borciani, Elisa Pegreffi, violino
- Piero Farulli, viola
- Franco Rossi, violoncello

 






Luogo e data di registrazione
Musica Thtre, Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds (Svizzera) - 15-28 gennaio 1976

Registrazione: live / studio
studio

Producer / Engineer
Vittorio Negri | Tony Buczynski

Prima Edizione LP
Philips | 9500 157 | 1 LP | (p) 1976

Prima Edizione CD
Philips Eloquence | 468 115-2 | 1 CD - 72' 35" | (c) 1990 | ADD | ("Emperor")
Pentatone | PTC 5186 189 | 1 CD - 79' 26" | (c) 2010 | ADD | ("Sunrise")


Note
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On returning to Vienna from his second visit to England (January 1794 - August 1795), Joseph Haydn entered his last creative period. Eight years later it was already over alfter having completed the middle two movement of the string quartet, Op. 103, he bolked at starting on the outer movement, and thereafter composed no more. Having let his last string quartet remain a headless torso the added to the first edition of 1806 four bars and the words: "All my strenght is gone, and I am old and weak" he consciously avaided the artistic decline which might well have followed had he continued composing. With the start of this late creative period the symphony, which since the end of the 1750's had been quite throughly nurtured, and which had just borne prime fruit with the last half-dozen of the "London" Symphonies (1794-95), suddenly disappeared from Haydn's horizon. Its place was effectively taken by the large-scale vocal work, initially in a distinctly liturgical context, between 1796 and 1802 six grand Masses and the "Great" C major Te Dem were produced. The peak of this development was reached with "The Creation" (1796-98) and "The Seasons" (1799-1801), the cornerstones of the fashionable oratorio cult of the nineteenth century. Haydn's late period is linked with the past solely through the string quartet.
He had been involved with the form from at least the mid1750's, with the exception of the symmetrical five-movement quartets of op. 1 and 2, which properly belong to the Austro-Czech-South-German divertimento tradition, 12 are dated before 1760 faithough they were originally called "divertimento," "cassation," or something similarl. While Haydn did not "invent" the string quartet, he can in the broad sense be regarded as its "father," since he alone was responsible for its systematic definition as a genre and for its musical form. After an interval of several years this so-called "Op. 3" was finally revealed some years ago as the work of Roman Hofstetter he wrote in the course of only five years, and at ever decreasing intervals, three sets of six quartets (Op. 9 - 1768-69; Op. 17 - 1771, Op. 20 - 1772). These display with gradually increasing frequency and concentration those features which later became occuped as characteristic of the "Classical" string quartet: the four-movement format with a stylised minuet in third place; the monothematic structure of the opening sonata-form movement and the sonata-like or polyphonic form at the final movement - freed from the last vestiges of dance influences; the extension of "thematic work" into the minuet; the individualisation of the parts, the distinctive character of four diverse movements which still into the whole scheme. In this connection the three fugal finales of Op. 20, Nos 2, 5 and 6 go far beyond the desired effect.
After a second interval of several years the six "Russian" Quartets of Op. 33 (c.1778-1781) present a new "Classical" type of quartet in which a harmonious compromise between tradition and modernity is achieved by a cautious drawing bach from extremes and a prudent reintegration of earlier styles. If one passes over the isolated, as well as puzzling, Op. 42 (1785) this largely holds good, with mere refinements of detail, for Haydn's nect 24 string quartets, despite some reversal of the inner movements and enhanced significance for the finales. Thus in his late period Haydn, while retaining fidelity to the format as described, brought the string quartet up to the boundaries of the Classical style, and by use of audacious harmonies for instance, even beyond them; parts of the eight quartets of op. 76 (1797) and op. 77 (1799), closely related as they are to the later oratorios, both in time scale and in style, more or less point the way towards nineteenth-century Romanticism.
Haydn wrote his Op. 76 for Count Joseph Erddy of Pressburg, who had family connections with Haydn's employer, the second Prince Nikolaus Esterhzy de Galantha; he recaived 100 ducats in payment, and had to agree to a two-year ban an publication. Two consecutive quarts in this set, No. 3 in C and No. 4 in B flat, have been given names by which they are generally known. The first, the "Emperor" Quartet is merely on indication of Haydn's deeply-felt patriotism, and with the second the title "L'Aurore" or "Sunrise" describes only the opening of the first movement, and is rather misleading. These titles are not Haydn's own, and should be regarded only as a means of identification. Both works mirror to a great degree the downright bewildering stylistic ambivalence of Haydn's late quartets; while the variation movement of the C major is, in the words of F. Blume, "the most Classical of the Classics in the whole of music," the opening movement of the B flat largely replaces tautness and architecture with colour and sonority.
In 1796 the inhabitants of Vienna were under the immediate threat of war, with Napoleon thrusting up from Po valley into Styria. The military were everywhere in the city, and a "Vienna Militia" was mobilised. In the face of such a national emergency Haydn, who was well acquainted with the English "God Save the King" conceived the idea of a political song in opposition to the "Marseillaise." Gottfried von Swieten, official director of the Vienna Court Library, acted as go-between with the lower Austrian provincial government, whose parliamentary chairman commissioned the author Lorenz L. Haschka to write a poem which would serve "to proclaim before all the world the loyal adherence of the Austrian people to the good and just Father of their Country, and to awake in all true Austrian hearts that noble national pride which is essential to the energic prosecution of all measures considered necessary by the Sovereign." Haschka promptly versified his "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" and Haydn wrote the melody for it. On February 12, 1797, the emperor's bithday, the song, which had been skilfully "plugged" by the state, was "spontaneously" sung at the Imperial Court Theatre in Vienna on the entry of the Emperor; the Austrian national anthem hab been born. That this "Emperor's Hymn" was close to Haydn's heart is shown not least in the fact that very shortly afterwards he used it as a theme for variations in his C major quartet, which thus soon became generally known as the "Emperor"
.

Wilhelm Pfannkuch